IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8789.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why is Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Trade, Regulation, Productivity, and Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Shapiro, Joseph S.

    () (Yale University)

  • Walker, Reed

    () (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Between 1990 and 2008, emissions of the most common air pollutants from U.S. manufacturing fell by 60 percent, even as real U.S. manufacturing output grew substantially. This paper develops a quantitative model to explain how changes in trade, environmental regulation, productivity, and consumer preferences have contributed to these reductions in pollution emissions. We estimate the model's key parameters using administrative data on plant-level production and pollution decisions. We then combine these estimates with detailed historical data to provide a model-driven decomposition of the causes of the observed pollution changes. Finally, we compare the model-driven decomposition to a statistical decomposition. The model and data suggest three findings. First, the fall in pollution emissions is due to decreasing pollution per unit output within narrowly defined products, rather than to changes in the types of products produced or changes to the total quantity of manufacturing output. Second, the implicit pollution tax that rationalizes firm production and abatement behavior more than doubled between 1990 and 2008. Third, environmental regulation explains 75 percent or more of the observed reduction in pollution emissions from manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Shapiro, Joseph S. & Walker, Reed, 2015. "Why is Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Trade, Regulation, Productivity, and Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 8789, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8789
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8789.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feenstra, Robert C., 2018. "Restoring the product variety and pro-competitive gains from trade with heterogeneous firms and bounded productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 16-27.
    2. Sharat Ganapati & Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2016. "Energy Prices, Pass-Through, and Incidence in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 16-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Natalia Fabra & Mar Reguant, 2014. "Pass-Through of Emissions Costs in Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2872-2899, September.
    4. W. Reed Walker, 2013. "The Transitional Costs of Sectoral Reallocation: Evidence From the Clean Air Act and the Workforce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1787-1835.
    5. Dana C. Andersen, 2016. "Credit Constraints, Technology Upgrading, and the Environment," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 283-319.
    6. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    7. J. Scott Holladay, 2016. "Exporters and the environment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 49(1), pages 147-172, February.
    8. Meredith Fowlie & Mar Reguant & Stephen P. Ryan, 2016. "Market-Based Emissions Regulation and Industry Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 249-302.
    9. E. Mark Curtis, 2014. "Who Loses Under Power Plant Cap-and-Trade Programs?," NBER Working Papers 20808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hettige, Hemamala & Martin, Paul & Singh, Manjula & Wheeler,David R., 1995. "The industrial pollution projection system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1431, The World Bank.
    11. Pol Antràs & Teresa C. Fort & Felix Tintelnot, 2017. "The Margins of Global Sourcing: Theory and Evidence from US Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2514-2564, September.
    12. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2019. "The Elusive Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 46-80.
    13. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2014. "International Trade, Offshoring and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 59-72, February.
    14. Udo Kreickemeier & Philipp M. Richter, 2014. "Trade and the Environment: The Role of Firm Heterogeneity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 209-225, May.
    15. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
    16. Becker, Randy A., 2005. "Air pollution abatement costs under the Clean Air Act: evidence from the PACE survey," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 144-169, July.
    17. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    18. Cherniwchan, Jevan, 2017. "Trade liberalization and the environment: Evidence from NAFTA and U.S. manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 130-149.
    19. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-787.
    20. Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2012. "Defensive Investments and the Demand for Air Quality: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program and Ozone Reductions," NBER Working Papers 18267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Ariel Burstein & Eduardo Morales & Jonathan Vogel, 2015. "Accounting for Changes in Between-Group Inequality," NBER Working Papers 20855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    23. Ronald Shadbegian & Randy Becker, 2004. "A Change of PACE: Comparing the 1994 and 1999 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Surveys," Working Papers 04-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    24. Bajona, Claustre & Pierce, Andrea & Missios, Paul, 2010. "Trade and the Environment with Heterogeneous Firms," MPRA Paper 71405, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    25. Robert Dekle & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2008. "Global Rebalancing with Gravity: Measuring the Burden of Adjustment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(3), pages 511-540, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dana C. Andersen, 2016. "Credit Constraints, Technology Upgrading, and the Environment," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 283-319.
    2. Francesco Vona & G. Marin & D. Consoli, 2016. "Measures, Drivers and Effects of Green Employment : evidence from US local Labor Markets, 2006-2014," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2016-22, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    3. repec:bla:bstrat:v:28:y:2019:i:1:p:98-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. E. Mark Curtis, 2014. "Who Loses Under Power Plant Cap-and-Trade Programs?," NBER Working Papers 20808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2018. "Environmental Regulation and Green Skills: An Empirical Exploration," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 713-753.
    6. Andersen, Dana C., 2016. "Accounting for Firm Exit and Loss of Variety in the Welfare Cost of Regulations," Working Papers 2016-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    7. Eva Lyubich & Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Regulating Mismeasured Pollution: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity for Environmental Policy," NBER Working Papers 24228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Employment and Environmental Performance: Evidence from French Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 2017.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Larch, Mario & Wanner, Joschka, 2017. "Carbon tariffs: An analysis of the trade, welfare, and emission effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 195-213.
    10. Cherniwchan, Jevan, 2017. "Trade liberalization and the environment: Evidence from NAFTA and U.S. manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 130-149.
    11. Arik Levinson & James O'Brien, 2015. "Environmental Engel Curves," NBER Working Papers 20914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Francesco Lamperti & Giovanni Dosi & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini & Sandro Sapio, 2018. "And then he wasn't a she : Climate change and green transitions in an agent-based integrated assessment model," Sciences Po publications 28, Sciences Po.
    13. Michael L. Polemis & Thanasis Stengos, 2019. "Does competition prevent industrial pollution? Evidence from a panel threshold model," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 98-110, January.
    14. repec:eee:eneeco:v:78:y:2019:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Eva Lyubich & Joseph Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Regulating Mismeasured Pollution: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity for Environmental Policy," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 136-142, May.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:7:p:2373-:d:156875 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Inácio Araúgo & Randall Jackson & Amir B. Ferreira Neto & Fernando Perobelli, 2018. "Environmental Costs of European Union Membership: A Structural Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers Working Paper 2018-04, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    18. Geoffrey Barrows & Helene Ollivier, 2016. "Emission intensity and firm dynamics: reallocation, product mix, and technology in India," GRI Working Papers 245, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    19. Andersen, Dana C., 2017. "Default Risk, Productivity, and the Environment: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 2017-8, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental regulation; air quality; trade and environment;

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • F64 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Environment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8789. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.